On Tuesday, a judge in Georgia overturned a six-week abortion ban know as the “heartbeat bill,” ruling that it is not constitutional. The bill was signed into law in 2019 by Gov. Brian Kemp but legal challenges have kept it from ever taking effect. The law would have prohibited abortions once fetal cardiac activity can be detected which usually comes around 6 weeks. It also would redefine the word “person” in Georgia to include an embryo or fetus at any stage of development.
According to ABC:
Several groups — including the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Georgia, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective — filed a lawsuit arguing the ban violates the right to privacy without political inference protected under the Georgia Constitution.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney agreed and said it went against the law because the ban was signed before Roe was overturned.
“At that time — the spring of 2019 — everywhere in America, including Georgia, it was unequivocally unconstitutional for governments — federal, state, or local — to ban abortions before viability,” McBurney wrote, referring to the original passage of the 6-week ban.
Georgia’s legislature has to pass a new law in the current political landscape, and “in the sharp glare of public attention,” for it to be legal, the judge wrote.
“Under Dobbs, it may someday become the law of Georgia, but only after our Legislature determines in the sharp glare of public attention that will undoubtedly and properly attend such an important and consequential debate whether the rights of unborn children justify such a restriction on women’s right to bodily autonomy and privacy,” the judge wrote.